As many students who attend the University of Delaware know, there are at least three Acme's within a 5 mile radius of campus, yet no where in sight is there a Whole Foods Market or a Trader Joe's. For some, this might not be a problem, but for others like myself, the need for that perfectly displayed row of fruits, veggies and specialty items are dire. Luckily, Newark is home to its very own natural food store, Newark Natural Foods

Settled comfortably between the Dollar Tree and the Brazilian Steak House located in the Newark Shopping Center, Newark Natural Foods provides a vast variety of specialty, all organic, non-GMO foods and fresh produce. It is also home to its very own in-house Café 67, serving daily made quality food. Since Newark Natural Foods is a co-op, as well as an independently owned store, some of their products are on the pricier side, which does not necessarily appeal to students on a budget. If you are one of those people who longingly passes this store wishing you could shop, but don't have $30 to drop on specialty hummus and pomegranates, I am going to let you in on a few nifty ways to make this store your friend, without breaking your bank. 

1. Sign up for the Student Membership                          

Everyone knows how hard it can be money-wise as a full-time student, especially when budgeting for groceries. One of the food stores many perks is that they offer a Student Membership for only $10 a YEAR. This membership includes a 2% discount every time you shop. 2% off groceries may seem like a small amount, but it all adds up in the long run. 

Olivia Feldman

2. Bring your own bag         

I'm sure you have all gone grocery shopping with a parent and were forced to wait for them to collect all of those re-usable bags from the trunk – or be bagging your groceries and having them realize they forgot the re-usable bags in the car. Having one more thing to think about other than remembering the list is tough, but in bringing your own bags to the Newark Natural Food Store, you actually save on your groceries. Every time you bring a bag, you can save 2% on your purchase; but money is not the only thing you'll be saving. It also contributes to helping the planet each time you decide to re-use, rather than using paper or plastic. 

Liz Dubin

3. Buy seasonal fruits and veggies     

Have you ever wondered why your strawberries are looking a little under the weather in mid-January, or why beets cost twice as much in April? Well, that is because these types of produce are not being grown locally, as they are not in season. They are being shipped from across the country and most likely loaded with chemicals to keep them semi-fresh. Buying fruits and veggies out of season also jacks up the price significantly. A carton of strawberries was going for $3.99 at the end of August, and is now priced at $6.99. Newark Natural Foods always has a great selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, especially if they are in season. Next time you head in there, buy a bag of apples rather than a carton of blueberries. It will save you money, and it just might open up your eyes to what else is out there to eat. 

Liz Dubin

4. Keep track of what is on sale with their handy pamphlets

Newark Natural Foods is always advertising new sales and promotions. They make sure to display foldable pamphlets in the store titled, "co-op deals", that let you know what is on sale, and how long the sale will last. For those who know me, I am a HUGE Siggi's Dairy enthusiast, and just love their little yogurt cups. They can be on the pricier side, but sometimes they go on sale, so I always have my eye out for the 5 for $5 deal. With the food store pamphlets, it lets me see when my favorites will be on sale and how long I have to stock up. It is not only expensive foods that go on sale, as deals range from vegetable oils, to breads, to dairy products. These deals are a big help and will definitely help save you some cash. 

Liz Dubin

5. This is where you buy those specialty items

Most generic grocery stores now sell those fancy products to keep up with the growing fascination of artisan products, but they are usually double the price. If you are one to indulge in açái, non-dairy Halo Top ice cream, or a number of superfruit products, Newark Natural Foods is the place to be. They have a wide variety of products that will surely satisfy your aesthetic needs. From Lara bars, to goji berries, and everything in between, it's all right there and cheaper than most generic grocery stores. 

chocolate, beer, coffee
Meredith Davin

Whether you are craving a bag of Angie's Boomchickapop, or in need of a a fresh bag of spinach, Newark Natural Foods is where it's at. Don't let the fact that some of their products are a little different, or slightly on the more expensive side frighten you because there are always ways to save. Shopping here once in a while, or even making it part of your routine, will make for a better experience and might change the way you view food. Newark is lucky to have such a community-oriented grocery store, and undoubtedly adds to the charm of the city. Happy shopping!